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An RPG, RTS, and sandbox space exploration game all-in-one.  Explore, trade, build, and fight in a beautiful, procedural universe.
An RPG, RTS, and sandbox space exploration game all-in-one. Explore, trade, build, and fight in a beautiful, procedural universe.
5,449 backers pledged $187,865 to help bring this project to life.

Development Update #14: February 2014

Posted by Josh Parnell (Creator)

Wow, most painful upload experience yet!  Sorry about the delay on this update, everyone...but it did end up taking somewhere around 15 hours for the YT upload to complete.  Ouch!  Hope it's worth it..... ;)

The Video.

I'm quite pleased with this one.  Just go see for yourself :)

Step Into February's Universe

The Ice.

Hanging masses of frozen liquid immerse you in that classic 'ice field feeling.'

The Scanner.

A new frequency spectrum allows for spectral signal analysis, giving you that much more power to uncover the secrets of the Infinite.  Learn the frequencies and shapes of the signal emitters to become a master of seeing the unseen.

The Transfer Unit.

With the right tools and a bit of luck, space can be a bountiful place.  Meet the transfer unit, your tool of choice for getting shiny things from point A (outside your cargo hold) to point B (inside your cargo hold).  Comes with a limited 1 year service warranty!

February Retrospective

Despite the shinier-looking graphics (at this point it's simply a given...), February was quite the gameplay month.  What you saw in the video was indeed an exciting start to a new area of gameplay, but, perhaps even more importantly, what you didn't see was the implementation of research being nearly complete as well as construction mechanics approaching realization.

As I mention in the video, February was a solid month, but there's a tremendous amount of good stuff in the pipeline at the moment that didn't quite make it out for the end of the month.  Couple that with the fact that the 'real' station and ship algorithms are coming into the fold soon, and you've got a recipe for some tremendously-exciting months ahead...!  The journey into the infinite gets ever more rewarding :]

See you next month!


Carcosa, Kshitij Sobti, and 32 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Franz Hiptmair on

      I love the idea of incorporating a scanner into gameplay! But scanning over a Hz range of 21 decades? No scientific instrument could do that. What about splitting it into separate frequency bands, i.e. have an infrared scanner, an x-ray scanner and so on. With this you could display just the band, which is actually receiving a signal and hide the rest.
      Why is mineral ore emitting electromagnetic radiation? Unless it would be radioactive, but you wouldn't want to conatminate your cargo bay with gamma rays, would you :)
      I think, the probes are more than sufficient for finding ore.

    2. Missing avatar

      Zachary King on

      Would have loved if the movement and such was more physics based. I mean spaceships accelerate and then _don't stop moving_ until something pushes on them in the opposite direction. I guess this is a late quibble, but this might have been the first time I watched the video and saw how the ships actually moved, rather than staring at the graphics. :/

    3. Missing avatar

      Jan Martin Mathiassen on

      Personally I would've thought the scanner drone would be able to give you a schematic, and that you would somehow break up the asteroid and haul the valuable bits with you, instead of just having a magic beam sucking up stuff.

    4. Missing avatar

      Robert Silesius on

      Ice looks amazing. Scanner has potential. Mining... hmm... I think I'd like to see the asteroid at least break apart or shrink or show some sort of impact on the world.

      Otherwise, that feature could be getting dangerously close to being a numbers game, where you just watch a spreadsheet like, unfortunately, the impressive indie game Banished is right now...

    5. Willem on

      I approve of everything I saw in this update. Great work Josh. Love the scanner, it is a brilliant gameplay mechanic, very unique and actually quite realistic (as you mentioned). It will be cool learning the "shapes" of various scanned objects; would be cool though if we could also log them in a "diary" of sorts in the game for future reference or automatic cataloguing. Brilliant piece of work there. Loved the mining as well, don't make it too complicated. Love that full hold slows you down and that your tractor beam becomes red indicating to a pirate both that your hold is almost full AND that you are slower (and more easy prey). Small little things like that...I greatly approve.

      The gameplay systems are indeed coming now and I greatly approve of what I have seen thus far. I can't think of any better designs now. Keep up the great work Josh and don’t get beaten down by those who are so impatient saying ‘there is no gameplay’; I mean WTF, duh there is no gameplay yet, the foundational engine first needs to be in place which Josh has worked his ass off on for the past year. Oh and also, you can clearly see the improvement of the algorithms for ship and station design, the new ones already look much cooler and interesting, great work.

    6. Netzbummler on

      @Chris I-B: Josh promised me that there will be Newtonian physics in the game, in other words where will be a version where you will be able to do exactly what you described (being an old Independence War player, I specifically demanded this feature). Josh said that it's as easy as changing one line in the source code.

      By the way, in case you missed the game back then, you might want to check you for Independence War 1 and 2. These games might just be right up your alley. Be warned though: once you experienced Newtonian movement in a space game, you'll never want to come back to dumbed-down airplanes-in-space games. ;-)

    7. Netzbummler on

      Dear god, this is strikingly beautiful. Who would have thought LT would ever be as beautiful as this? And that considering it's being made by just one person, not a 50+ dev team!

      Josh, there is one thing that I need to ask you for, though: At the start of the video update, you were very apologetic WRT lack of gameplay, in fact you almost sound pressured. For what it's worth, I think that you should take your time and make the best damn game possible. Take your time! back then, at the start of the Kickstarter campaign, you said that the 50k Dollars you were asking would get you as far as 1.5 years. I was fully prepared to wait for this time then, and I still am. Give us awesome AI, gameplay and graphics. Rushing only diminishes the final game, so take your time!

    8. Missing avatar

      Victor Tombs on

      A remarkable update Josh. Happiness reigns supreme. :)

      I just hope this update keeps me smiling until the next one arrives.

    9. Missing avatar

      Finadil on

      @Chris I-B While I totally agree with the Newtonian flight model (ie Diaspora), I think the default in game should be a slight drag that would tend to slow the ship to a halt. Newcommers might feel a bit overwhelmed trying to turn the ship to brake and such.

    10. Chris I-B

      I'm glad I'm not the only one slightly bothered by the physics of flight in the game. I'd love to see the movement re-worked to respect conservation of momentum. It'd make the difference between watching the old Star Wars "airplanes in space" versus new BSG Vipers.
      Graphically the ship's engines should only fire while accelerating (at a rate proportional to the strength of the engines and the mass of the ship + cargo -- more mass = slower acceleration). Once you turn the engines off you coast at your last speed, in the same direction. You can then rotate about the ship's centre of mass while preserving that same direction, allowing you to "strafe" sideways (or even backwards). When you want to slow down/stop you have braking engines at the front firing backwards to decelerate you.
      Yes, this probably would make the controls a little more awkward to use. We may need to add auto-firing thrusters that let you mimic airplane-style banking turns (another possible piece of kit for a ship's hardpoint: advanced maneuvering thrusters?), but the physics underneath such a turn should still be Newtonian.

      As for the new scanner, I'm liking it. It would be neat if the Hz--ZHz scale and the signals produced actually corresponded to emission/absorption lines drawn from the real world. So you'd have constant background noise corresponding to the emission spectrum of hydrogen, and ore-bearing asteroids would produce emission spectra corresponding to the element/compound of interest within them.
      Ships/stations would emit large amounts of infra-red and radio signals (i.e. one set of emission lines in the 300GHz to 430THz (IR) range, and another in the 300MHz to 300GHz [microwave] range), plus other emission lines corresponding to cargo, weapons, etc...
      The scanner could have filters that could cancel out certain known emission spectra, or show only signals that match the criteria you want. You could even colour-code the scanner to indicate that certain spikes are due to background H, others due to radio signals, and still others due to ore being mined.

    11. Taragon on

      its space, not an ocean so mass shouldnt effect max speed, only acceleration and turning.

    12. intrepidis on

      I love the look of the new space station. I look forward to seeing more designs! As you said, the mining is a little boring right now, but once the 'roids start breaking apart, as matter is wrenched from them, it should get a little more interesting! Keep up the good work!

    13. gandalf.nho

      Looking better every new update

    14. Missing avatar

      Valeroth on

      1. Wow, I actually liked the old scanner, but I LOVE the new scanner. It is absolutely fanstatic.

      2. A higher mass should affect your acceleration/deceleartion and turning capabilities, not your top speed. (This is space after all and we have very little resistance).

      3. The ships and stations are already looking very good.

    15. Missing avatar

      Finadil on

      Thanks for another great update! You said as you mine, your mass increases and top speed decreases, shouldn't your acceleration decrease but top speed remain the same?

    16. Missing avatar


      That was awesome, thanks for the update!
      If those graphics get any better, I'm going to have to demand the ability to make a 'tourist' career where you just fly around taking pretty pictures for profit.

    17. irowboat

      OH MAN, THE ICE!